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Working paper

The Advent of Grants: Personal Experiences of Grant-Based Funding in the 1990s Russia

Ilyin A., Белик К. М.
Grant-based funding became one of the crucial innovations in the Russian academia of the 1990s. It has been studied from quantitative and institutional perspectives while our paper focuses primarily on oral histories of grants that shed light on their subjective meaning. Interviews show that some Russian academics remember their first experiences of applying for various programs, competition and peer review as important part of their ego-narratives. These narratives portray ambitious, independent, and free-minded scholarly persona that chimes with the virtues promoted in the academic community back in the 1990s, when research grants and scholarships were introduced. Apart of their practical benefits and prestige, grants helped some scientists and scholars to comprehend themselves and the changing landscape of post-Soviet academia.